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The Neo-liberal State$
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Raymond Plant

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281756

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281756.001.0001

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Social Justice: A Mirage?

Social Justice: A Mirage?

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 4 Social Justice: A Mirage?
Source:
The Neo-liberal State
Author(s):

Raymond Plant (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281756.003.0005

It is a central thesis of neo‐liberalism that social justice is an incoherent moral ideal and should play no part in proper identification of the real purposes and scope of the state. Social justice is central to both Social Democracy and Socialism and the critique of social justice is crucial for the neo‐liberal claim to differentiate itself in a categorical way from these other political, social, and economic positions. The chapter looks in detail at the different arguments used by neo‐liberal thinkers to criticize social justice. It is also part of the neo‐liberal position that social justice as a policy aim cannot be made compatible with the idea of the rule of law. The reasons for this are explored in detail.

Keywords:   Social Justice, Intention, Unintended Consequences

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